Sexual counselling is a talking therapy which assists you to manage the psychological, emotional or relational aspects of your concern. Catherine is aware that sexuality is the most difficult topic to discuss and your issues will be handled with sensitivity and care.
Catherine has been a Professional Sexual Therapist and Educator with the Australian Society of Sexual Educators, Researchers and Trainers (ASSERT) since 1996 and is currently a member of the Australian Society of Sexologists.
Prior to counselling, where relevant, it is important that you have already consulted your general practitioner, urologist, gynaecologist, pain specialist or other relevant professionals. Many medical conditions and medications can affect your sexual function and medical help, with counselling assistance, gives you the best possible outcome.
A thorough assessment is the first step. If you are in a relationship, this will often involve an assessment of the sexual and relationship dynamics. Sexual problems are frequently a symptom of individual or relationship problems and these underlying issues may need to be addressed first. Catherine will work with you to understand your sexual issues, provide education, address underlying issues, and offer helpful therapeutic suggestions.
People see Catherine for difficulties with:
- performance anxiety
- gender and sexual orientation
- mismatched desires
- body image
Mismatched desire is one of the most common couples sexual problems and inevitably develops at times of stress in the individual or couple lifecycle e.g. during pregnancy, after the birth of a child, menopause, infertility, work and parenting stresses etc. For other couples, this mismatch in desire has been present in the relationship from the beginning, or begins after the “limerence” or falling in love period ends.
Unfortunately, a mismatch in desire can set up a cycle of blame and guilt which leads to a vicious cycle of pursuit and withdrawal in the relationship. This cycle can leave the couple feeling disconnected and bereft of any form of affection or fun which lays the foundation for emotional and physical intimacy.
Catherine will provide you with a thorough assessment of your relationship, taking into account all factors that may be contributing to this mismatch. Sometimes other issues (e.g. pelvic pain, past trauma, relationship violence) may need to be understood, acknowledged and addressed in their own right.
Once the assessment is completed, Catherine can help you understand your desire discrepancy and, where both partners are willing, to rebuild the friendship and intimacy through facilitating communication and negotiation of different needs.